Moses to Clem and the Minotaur

May 28, 2009

We asked you to tell us the moment in history you would most like to have caught on video camera. The diverse - and creative - results are now in. Our ten favourites are printed below, in no particular order. Each of the writers receives a Flip Ultra camcorder, worth £99.99

Can you imagine Moses trying to persuade the Egyptians to follow him into the wilderness ...?

"Yes, we're heading out into the desert on the advice of a bush ... no, you had to be there, honest, it was burning and talking and everything ... Well, because God could appear as anything - a cloud, an angel, um ... a porcupine ... Food? Manna on demand! Yes, every day for 40 years ... er . .. try it fried, boiled, flambeed with locusts ... Come on lads - you'd never have stayed in Egypt, what with boils, frogs and hailstones as big as sphinxes ... What? Who caused that?

Um ..."

He really was the original leading estate agent.

Caroline Picking

I would like to film Francis Bacon finishing his best play, Antony and Cleopatra - and signing off the manuscript as "Shakespeare" while giving a big wink to the camera. Filming him in the act would demonstrate conclusively to the doubters that the "Shakespeare" corpus was written by Bacon, assisted at times by other members of his aristocratic circle. We have fallen for the legend dreamt up by this intellectual coterie to protect their identities in a dangerous age, and are reluctant to dismantle the "Shakespeare the jobbing actor" myth when the reality of group authorship is much more fascinating.

Mary Brown

The Resurrection - just imagine the number of hits I'd get on YouTube.

Graeme Denman

Who would not want to have captured on film the moment when Clem met the Minotaur? February 1939 and the Spanish Republic is on its knees. The camera closes in on Major Attlee, present at the Whitechapel Gallery in order to unveil Guernica: "Pleased to be here today. Solemn occasion given the news from Madrid. More of a Constable man myself, but here's (checks notes) Senor Picasso hitting the fascists for six." Focus in on drape being pulled away, and then panning shot of revealed canvas. Close-up of the Labour leader's reaction. Long pause: "And this chap's on our side?"

Adrian Smith

Video camera in hand, I stand poised in the Karntnertortheater in Vienna, sweat forming on my brow as I wait for the great man to begin. I stare through the lens as he taps his stick against the lectern, signalling for silence. Suddenly I am overcome with joy as the orchestra launches into the world premiere of Beethoven's Symphony No 9. This instantly recognisable piece of music is being heard for the first time, and I capture the faces of the musicians as they play their instruments in a state of rapture. They finish, Beethoven bows and music is changed for ever.

Stephen Manson

She too came - 99 years old, emaciated but feisty. Some came by canoe, some by wheelbarrow; some walked 250 miles. They happily waited, and waited under the unforgiving sun. They came to welcome the man who had spent years and years in bondage so they could be free.

I wish I were there to capture, not when he stepped out, but the moments before. To infer his inner world by capturing his visual and bodily cues through a time-stamped still-and-video narrative, an essay on the thoughts of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, hours before freedom.

Sam King

Monumental events come and go. Battlefields fade, civilisations rise and fall. It is not these muscular power struggles I would want to witness, but a battle of political minds where wit was the perfect weapon. To capture on video Gladstone's wounded response to Disraeli's withering explanation of what the difference was between misfortune and calamity: "If Gladstone fell into the Thames it would be a misfortune ... but, if someone dragged him out again, it would be a calamity." Priceless.

Jonathan Jones

The moment in history I would have liked to be present at would be 14 April 1956. On this day Ray Dolby, Charles Ginsberg and Charles Anderson first demonstrated their new invention - the video camera. Imagine their surprise on seeing me film their exclusive media launch.

Paul Chantler

Would you Adam and Eve it? I've just made the world's first ever porno video. Gospel truth.

David Buss

I grow a little weary of this performance and we're not yet through Act One. The programme promises "Spectakular Cannonade" so I prepare my handy Flip. Photography appears to be allowed in this theatre, what luck!

The deafening roar of the cannon awakens all but the dead. Screams of panic.

"Fire! Fire!"

The roof is ablaze. People are running in all directions. Flaming embers fall. Smoke. Heat. Burning.

Aarghh! My trousers are alight, I am undone!

A mug of ale puts paid to that burning butt and the tidy wench doth cast a wry smile ... for my Flip movie.

Bruce Shakespeare.

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